“I hate reading”
Part of my job at Canine Comprehension is getting kids to read, keeping them reading and inspiring them to love reading.
Helping students fall in love with reading is often achieved with my canine coaches, Minnie and Oscar, who will sit with the young students and listen to them read aloud, every so often offering a wag of appreciation. My older students will take a dog for a walk discuss the details of a text. Honestly, half my job is done if I can get my student to enjoy reading.
If you are a Reader, new worlds open up through fiction. A new story offers possibility. You are exposed to new people, interesting vocabulary, far away places and challenging ideas. Get an insight into how others live and think. You can even travel in time!
If you are a Non-Reader, reading is a chore. A new book fills the Non-Reader with dread and the sense of time being lost, wasted, never to be got back!
So how do we get the Non-Reader to fall in love with reading?
When a child cries “I hate reading” what they often mean is “I hate reading novels which are verbose, arduous and have no relevance to my world or significance to me.” (I am yet to find a child who doesn’t like reading and can articulate their dislikes as eloquently as that!)
A parent needs to tackle this by being a nonconformist with the medium and content. It doesn’t matter what kids read, at first, as long as they are reading.
In relation to the medium, it really doesn’t matter, at first. Graphic novels, video games with written content, magazines, blogs, e-books, non-fiction - as long as there are words, they are welcome to read them.
In relation to content, once again, anything (within reason) goes. Subject matter may be vampires, werewolves, fairies and hobbits or V8 Cars, Killer Spiders or even Chess. It doesn’t matter, at first, as long as your child is getting sitting still for a period of time and reading.
After that half the battle is won. By reading ANYTHING, you, as their parent are able to show an interest in their reading and discuss:
Having this conversation your child is improving their comprehension skills and you are able to take a mental note of books they may be interested in, in the future.
So next time you buy your child a book and they whinge “I hate reading”, you are able to remind them of all the things they have enjoyed reading in the past. Making the move from various mediums to novels in a far shorter leap.
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